Rob “Coaster” Clancey’s 1964 Ford Galaxy 500 wasn’t just a car; it was an expression of his individuality. Clancey, ’87, was a Hawaiian student who wore flip-flops year-round and added cleats to them in the winter. His car represented that same playful spirit through a custom paint job featuring blue and white checkers on the back, black and white checkers on top, and the words “Nifty” and “Turbo” and a BMW logo on the hood. Finishing touches included a rubber-chicken hood ornament and plastic birds affixed to the roof. (According to Clancey, Professor of English Leonard Oakland donated additional plastic birds for the cause.)
A Whitworthian reporter once asked Clancey why he’d decorated his car so idiosyncratically; he replied, “Why not?” Clancey knew his car brought a smile or a laugh to people as he cruised past the dining hall or down Riverside Ave., in downtown Spokane.
This motorized piece of art was a popular target for vandals, however. Security awoke Clancey one morning after they had found the car wrapped in toilet paper and pushed into the middle of The Loop. Such incidents made the car an even greater campus legend.